For the Muslim World, the last 18 months will remain long in the memory when the history books are finally written. What began with a single man in the markets of Tunisia spread to thousands on the streets in Cairo and evolved to hundreds of thousands demanding political change for the entire region. The self immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia created a sweeping wave, which crossed the artificial border to Egypt, then to Libya, Yemen and Bahrain until it engulfed most of the Muslim world. The Arab spring has seen many brave the streets to protest and change the status quo which has dominated the political, economic and social landscape for so long. The reaction of the Muslim rulers was as predictable as it was brutal with violent clampdowns leaving thousands dead and many more injured.
The uprisings brought the brutal rule of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Ben Ali of Tunisia and Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi’s to an end, whilst Basher al Assad continues to cling to power. Elections have also taken place in a number of countries which has seen the Islamic parties gain significantly
In Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, voters in their millions have clearly expressed their opposition to secular liberal values and their strong desire for Islamic government. Yet the same parties that went to great lengths to demonstrate their Islamic credentials to the masses in their election campaigns, are now going to greater lengths to demonstrate their moderation to the West. Indeed in their rush to placate so called international opinion, they have abandoned all pretence of being Islamic politicians.
In doing so, they think they are being pragmatic, smart and politically savvy. Yet all they have shown is their opportunism, their double standards and that they are no more principled than their secular counterparts. When it comes to applying Islamic politics they cite constitutional barriers and the need to keep minorities onside. When it comes to applying Islamic economics, they cite the need to avoid scaring international investors and tourists. When it comes to applying the Islamic foreign policy, they cite the need to show a moderate image and to appease the West. Indeed such is their caution, weakness and desire to please, they have now become Islamic Politicians in name only. The current reality is that the Islamic groups that languished in the torture cells of the likes of Mubarak touting ‘Islam is the solution,’ are now actually holding the Ummah back from Islamic rule.
Muslims globally are demanding a clear and profound change to improve their situation, with the calls for Shari’ah, Khilafah and Islam ringing in the streets from Cairo to Damascus and beyond. Despite this, the only options being laid out before them are solutions from the Western economic and political models, often disguised with notional Islamic terminology.
We live in unique times as the discussion of what next in the Middle East takes place as Western notions of governance continue to drown in scandal after scandal, whilst the invisible hand of the market (free market) is being replaced by the very visible hand of state intervention. At the same time the bedrock of western civilization, its independent media has been exposed for being in cahoots with government.
We are now firmly in the ‘after the Arab spring’ phase, the challenge the Ummah not just in the Middle East but globally now face are the following:
Is it enough to have some Islamic principles or a reference to Islam in the constitutions being drawn up?
Is the solution for the Ummah in the Middle East restricted to the artificial borders created by the departing colonialists or does it lay in combining resources and using synergies in the region
Those who protected Western interests have been overthrown and those who remain are barely clinging onto power. What does it practically mean for the Muslim world to chart an independent course for itself.
The Middle East possesses some of the worlds most sought after mineral resources, which for long have been exported globally enriching a narrow elite. For the first time the region can pursue its development first over international investors. What opportunities does this present?
It is in this context that Hizb ut-Tahrir is pleased to announce a ground-breaking International Conference, to be held in London on 30th June 2012.
To buy tickets Visit www.uprising2012.co.uk/tickets/